Recently various members of the society have raised an alarm on the low standard of education in Nigeria, high cost of food despite good quality soils as well as increased budgetary allocation for living has not improved in time with the variable mentioned above. From the findings this research it is observed, that agricultural science is not given the right and necessary attention it observed, for instance teachers who are the implementers of curriculum are faced with numerous problems, which include poor conditions of services, lack of incentives, frequency of industrial actions to back up the demand of better condition, among other problems. The study was conducted to investigated into the problem facing teachers of agricultural science in junior sections secondary schools in Nkanu west local Government Area. The data collected were analyzed using frequency distribution, which was converted to mean as to answer specific research questions. The following major findings were made viz;
Inadequate qualified agricultural teachers; inadequate agricultural science facilities; there is insufficient fund and poor attitude of teachers in the class which hampers effective teaching and learning of agricultural science.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Nigeria is an agricultural country before and after the discovery of petroleum. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of United Nations, (1999) agriculture is usually the mainstay of the economy and level of food consumption are relatively low.
How, Lawal (2000), noted that agriculture is perhaps the greatest single innovation that made it possible for man to live in settled community which grew gradually in complexity from families through village and Cities to modern nations.
Similarly Makinjola (2001) observed that the transformation agriculture from nomadic life was made possible by modern agriculture. To this effect importance of agriculture in a developing nation such as our, cannot be over-emphasized. As a source of food supply, foreign exchange earners and employment of labour, agriculture should receive a priority of consideration towards the maintenance of a healthy economy agricultural education therefore is imperative and should be taken more seriously so that it will wipe away ignorance with regards to practical agriculture and developed interest toward farming. It was in line with taught that Inoaya (2004), stated that food supply is generally inadequate in quantity and quality in the Country. According to him, there is at present a significant increase in the Country’s population. Thus with too many months to food and too little land to farm, Nigeria has resorted to importing a lot of her food with her foreign exchange earning.
It therefore, become pertinent at this juncture to state that lack of property agricultural, education in our schools and lack of properly qualified agricultural teachers has resulted to reduced interest and poor performance of students in agriculture.
Uchegbu (1993), rightly observed that poor remuneration situation of agricultural teachers with irregular payment of salaries as well as fringe benefits and lack of teachers motivation, attributed to their low moral. This point was further highlighted by Ayandele (2001), Babalola and Ezenwa (2001) who asserted that on of the mentioned reasons for teachers ineffectiveness in schools arise out of the frustration due to non-participation in the organization’s decision-making process similarly, students poor performance and lack of interests are attributed to so many factors.
According to Ayandele (2005), non-availability of school equipment, inadequate instructional supervision, socio-economic background of students, etc. hinder the effective performance of students in teaching and learning.
Furthermore Madike (2003), pointed out that most of the schools in Nigeria do not teach agriculture and even in schools where it is taught, there is no serious attempt to provide adequately qualified teachers and necessary facilities. Most of our students, he noted lack of both the interest and aptitude for agriculture. The syllabus are not oriented towards the need of the society and the society and the standard of teaching of many agriculture science teachers is nothing to write home about.
According to Mbanuju (1998), teachers of agricultural science make the subject boring. They use the farm as punishment ground for offending students, and this make students feel that the school farm is mainly for punishment. This goes a long way to kill interest of the students especially for practical work. As a result of this, students feel very proud to be associated with such subject like Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Mathematics and Additional Mathematics even when they do not have aptitude for such subjects. This makes them disregard subject like Agriculture science which they feel is for then never-do-wells. This impression of the youths about agriculture makes it difficult for the teachers to make any meaningful impact on the students both in the classroom and school farm during practical lessons.
Okoro (1999), pointed out that it is important to mention that there has been no evidence to show that secondary schools have gone into fulltime, on graduation because of the problems of finance, land tenure system, immature agriculture procedures, among others. According to him, the only exception is usually getting employed with ministry of agriculture. This observation, he tended to make some parent to choose for their children to take up agriculture. From the foregoing, one can infer that an exposure to agricultural science at the secondary school level is factor for higher studies in agricultural science.
In his own contribution Eze (1990), observed that teaching agricultural science in schools has been greatly lacking in their goals aspiration. Many agricultural educational institutions he pointed out should be established to educate and train people in the science of agriculture. He concluded that from this, young people will receive formal education and training which provides them with a career since agriculture is one of the main features of economic development of a country and a contributor to National income and employment, it should be accorded priority consideration towards the maintenance of a healthy economy.
In the light of the above problems the purpose of this study is to investigate the problems militating against effective teaching of agricultural science in our junior secondary schools in Nkanu West Local Government Area with a view of finding a way that will help generate a sound foundation for the improvement and development of agriculture in Nigeria.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
Agricultural science today is regarded as one of the most important aspects of human life. It has greatly increased man’s knowledge of his environment together with basic needs of good, shelter and clothing. Nigeria being a developing country and in a great need to meet the food demand of her population requires effective and purposeful agricultural education in her schools.
Presently performances of students do not predict the hope of fulfilling our agriculture expectation as regards meeting the food need of the population through schools inspite of the effort being made by government to improve standard of teaching agricultural science in our secondary schools.
It then become pertinent to look inwardly for a better way of having a solid base for effective agricultural education in secondary schools. This study uses the junior section of the secondary school system to discover the problems causing failure of student especially in external examinations as the senior school certificate (S.S.C.E) and junior secondary school Examination (J.S.S.E). The identification of these problems for lasting agriculture programme for secondary schools in turn meeting the national objective in food production is the subjects of this research.
PURPOSES OF THE STUDY
· To find out if qualitative teacher are available in required proportion in the teaching of agricultural science in junior secondary school in Nkanu West Local Government Area.
· To find out if there are adequate facilities for the teaching of agricultural science.
· To identify the extent to which fund is available for the schools for practical agriculture;
· To find out level of discipline in schools necessary to progressive Work in junior Secondary School Agriculture.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Agriculture development requires well- planned agricultural education programme especially of the secondary school level. This programme of teaching and learning should lay emphasis in strategies for making instructions in agriculture effective. This means that agricultural science as a subject of study needs some protection and direction to hold the interest of the youths.
With many embracing agricultural science, the nation will be able to solve some her present domestic problems especially in the areas of food shortage and foreign exchange resulting from mass importation of food and raw materials that can be produced locally in Nigeria. Effective instructional method and techniques are applied, it will enable the products of the programme acquire specific skills for self-employment, skilled people are seen as productive people in the society. This explains why the Nigerians educational goal is gradually shifting from intellectual development as can be seen in the prevocational junior secondary school of new educational system.
This study will be significance to a number of people Agricultural science teachers who will become aware of problems to teaching agricultural science, and guide them in making adjustment in their methods and techniques of teaching agriculture science. The teachers and students will have a true concept of, and develop positive attitude towards agriculture science. The Government, the researcher believes will come to realize the importance of agricultural development of the nation.
The need to provide the school with facilities relevant to the learning and teaching modern agriculture practices as secondary school level is very essential. It will also help in the acceptance new innovations in present day agriculture.
Finally, it will be helpful to farmer and creates in them the awareness of being part of the economy and contributing measures towards its development.
SCOPE AND DELINATION OF THE STUDY
This study has limited to junior sections of secondary schools (JSSS) in Nkanu West Local Government Area.
The problem of this Study was investigated by addressing the following research questions:-
· Are there enough teachers to teach agricultural science in schools?
· Are there adequate facilities for the teaching of agricultural science in schools?
· How adequate is the needed fund for secondary school agricultural science?
· Is the level of discipline in schools adequate to warrant effective teaching and learning?